December 17, 2007, Chicago. With a declaration that "You have breached your duty of trust; you have breached your duty of loyalty to Hollinger," U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve approved a 2005 plea bargain deal that David Radler had made with the prosecution. Radler is Conrad Black's former partner, and former deputy chairman and chief operating officer of Hollinger International Inc. (HII).
"You took a lot of money from Hollinger International shareholders" Judge St. Eve told Radler. "You committed a very serious crime, but you certainly tried to right your wrongs by paying back restitution, (which) goes a long way (and) you've co-operated with the government."
Last week, the judge sentenced Black to 6 1/2-years in jail, a $125,000 fine and and $6.1 million dollars in forfeiture. At that time, she also sentenced three of Black's co-defendants - all former HII executives. (See story)
In sentencing Radler, Judge St. Eve agreed to the provisions of the plea bargain, where Radler pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud and agreed to a 29 month jail sentence with a $250,000 fine, in exchange for appearing as a government witness in the case against his former colleagues.
As part of the deal, the prosecution will not challenge any bid by Radler, a Canadian citizen, to serve his term in Canada. Under Canadian law, Radler will be eligible for an earlier release from prison than he would under U.S. law. Radler will report to a US prison on or before February 25, 2008, after which, he can apply for a transfer to a Canadian prison close to his home in Vancouver, BC.
Radler Pays $100 Million
On March 16, 2007, two days after the start of jury selection at the trail of Conrad Black and his co-defendants, David Radler agreed to pay a US$28.7 million dollar fine as part of a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
On March 18, 2007, Radler's lawyers announced that Radler would pay Sun-Times Media Group Inc., formerly Hollinger International, US$63.4 million to settle a civil lawsuit brought against him regarding the backdating of stock options (See story).
To date, Radler and his companies have paid back about US$72 million to the Sun-Times.
In his statement to the court, Radler said, "I made mistakes, and they hurt me and my family and others. I made a decision to plead guilty and make restitution in order to help pay for those mistakes. I am sorry for the suffering to my family and others, who didn't deserve the consequences of what I did. I will live my life with this, and I'm sorry for what I've done."
Radler Continues In Newspaper Business
Radler is still actively involved in the newspaper business. On leaving Hollinger International Inc., he founded Horizon Publications Inc., a Marion, Illinois based company that owns a small newspaper chain.
In December 2006, Radler founded Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers Operations Inc., a private company incorporated in Delaware, with his eldest daughter Melanie Radler as President and long-time colleague Roland McBride as Vice-President. McBride is also chief financial officer of Horizon Publications Inc.. RISN then purchased the Rhode Island holdings of Journal Register Company for $8.3 million and presently owns four daily and five weekly newspapers in Rhode Island.
Radler has a home in Vancouver, BC and is said to be worth millions despite the amounts he has paid out. Early release may see him a free man in less than a year.